Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My last Palin post ever

Well, I'm going to try to keep that title true, anyway. I've come to the conclusion that Palin is a sideshow and a distraction, who exists purely for self-aggrandizement. But I shall offer these final words on the subject:

The question du jour seems to be whether or not Sarah Palin will run for president, and will she have a chance if she does. My guess is that Palin will wind up occupying a role similar to Al Gore in 2008: she'll run if it looks like she'll get the nomination handed to her, and she won't if it doesn't look that way. Here's why: Palin lives to be adored. Her past as a beauty queen is instructive here, as does almost her behavior in recent years. She has systematically cut herself off from anyone who might criticize her, and lives entirely in a world of adulation from Tea Partiers, Fox News, and radio personalities. She doesn't engage anyone with different ideas and her reaction to Levi Johnston lead me to believe that she has gotten even more thin-skinned and self-involved even since 2008. She can no longer tolerate criticism, even if it comes from nineteen year old boys (unless it comes from lib'rals, who are clearly just jealous). Obviously, I think she'd like the roaring crowds and all that part of campaigning, but being a presidential candidate involves years of dull, hard work--attending dinners, fundraising, shaking hands, courting endorsements. I really don't think she has the discipline to do it. And it's not like she's particularly passionate about any cause but her own self-promotion, which could just as easily be cemented on Fox News.

Here's what I think will happen: Palin will take some preliminary steps toward running after the midterms this year. This will stir up great excitement among the press. But she won't get in the race immediately. She'll threaten to get in to try to scare away some rivals like Huckabee, but she'll remain aloof. The GOP field will be a generally weak one--you might see Mike Pence give it a shot, maybe some second-stringers, and probably Romney. But Palin won't ever actually enter the contest. Perhaps she'll try to rig some sort of draft effort, but that's about it. I've never seen any evidence that constantly being in the news is insufficient for Palin's ego--she's not unlike those pop tarts that basically just live to be in the tabloids.

But I might be wrong. And I'm not sure I agree with Andrew Sullivan's argument about her "Christianism" being a motivation here, as her statements on that score have seemed more subdued than W's more outlandish claims, but perhaps if she thinks the Lord is moving her...? I suppose we'll see.

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.